Chipmunks are hard to hate. Not only are they one of the cutest, furry little critters you see around these parts, they are also among the most entertaining to watch drama and hop around. However adorable, chipmunks can also be little trouble makers. They love to munch on seeds, nuts, fruits, berries, and even dig up plants to consume their roots, all which make lawns and gardens a prime target this season.
If you are having trouble with aggravation chipmunks, it might help to familiarize yourself with some of their common behaviors and habits in order to discover a solution to the problem. Keep on reading to find out some useful and interesting facts about chipmunks, including what you can do to put a stop to their destruction.
Interesting Chipmunk Truth
Technically, a chipmunk is a rodent, as they are a part of this Rodentia order. There are 25 known species of chipmunk, one of which isn’t native to North America. They generally dine on fruits, seeds, nuts, cultivated grains, vegetables, fungi, insects, arthropods (spiders, butterflies, scorpions, crustaceans, etc.), and sometimes even tiny amphibians such as tree frogs.
Chipmunks have large cheek pouches that they use to stuff full of food they find, then they bring it all back to their underground burrows in which they store their food for the winter. They mostly forage on the ground, but will also climb trees to get acorns and fruit.
Did you know that chipmunks are in fact loners? Although more than 1 chipmunk family can live in the same burrow, they travel alone and basically ignore all other chipmunks around them until mating season starts up again in spring. This is good news for homeowners with a chipmunk infestation in the attic. Most often, it is just one lone chipmunk, which does much less damage than an entire colony of squirrels. However, females can give birth to litters of 8 or more, so an infestation can be larger if it is a nursing female.
Chipmunks live in underground burrows that they dig themselves, which usually consist of an elaborate network of tunnels which could extend up to 11 feet in length. They keep their sleeping area clean, while keeping waste and droppings in a different area. They fill their burrows up with as much food as possible in late summer and fall in order to have enough provisions for the winter. Besides hibernation, chipmunks sleep an average of 15 hours per day, mainly because they do not have to keep on alert for predators because they live underground.
Unfortunately, chipmunks do not live for a very long time. In the wild, their average lifespan is between 2 and 3 decades. In captivity, they can live a little longer, up to 6 or 7 years with strict owner commitment. This is usually most common at licensed wildlife rehabilitation facilities.
For those who have a nuisance wildlife problem, your best course of action would be to request professional advice from a licensed wildlife removal and control firm. They have the training, experience, and knowledge to give you helpful advice or service.